The possibility of a strike by truckers is not excluded. Although the category leaders are not betting on a national stop, like the one in 2018, the climate is now more favorable for certain sections to close sections of motorways across the country than at the beginning of the month. Another, however, is against it and is acting to demobilize.
The strikers criticized the federal government for not having proposed measures to lower the price of diesel and Petrobras for maintaining the price policy. In addition, they complain about the way in which the Interim Measure (MP) 1.051, which creates and regulates the electronic transport document (DT-e), was approved. This document unites around twenty documents required for freight transport operations.
The part that works to demobilize the shutdown understands that the claims referring to the price of diesel are not applicable in a market economy. Regarding the DT-e, they specify that the points in question have been validated after the signing of an agreement with the category.
The attempt to stop the category is scheduled for Sunday, July 25, when Catholic truck drivers celebrate the feast of São Cristóvão, the patron saint of independent transporters. The act was called by the National Council for Road Freight Transport (CNTRC).
What intensified the division of truckers
The carriers were already divided, as Gazeta do Povo explains. The difference was that at the beginning of July the weather was not subject to a standstill. However, in addition to the readjustment of the cost of diesel, the approval of the MP 1.051, on July 15, also weighed. The final wording of the DT-e angered the leaders who were previously against the strike.
One of the points that displeased the category in the electronic document is the amnesty, until May 31, 2021, for carriers who have not respected the minimum freight floor, provided for by law 13.703 / 18. “During the 2018 strike, the truck drivers who were by the wayside were fined R $ 5,000, we asked for amnesty and did not do it. There are friends of ours who are still in debt because of this. carriers, no we accept, “criticizes leader Marcelinho Paz, who works in the Baixada Santista region.
Another criticism is the authorization for the independent truck driver to engage an association or union to manage his freight rights. The contracted union or association would be responsible for fiscal obligations and the collection of taxes. For truck drivers, this gives autonomy to carriers and shippers to manage freight and the collection of freelancers hired directly.
“It is the ‘uberization’ of the truck driver,” explains Marcelinho, who in February was against the call to strike. “If the government does not tie the DT-e and does not propose a lock [do texto] in the Senate, there are several shortcomings that will harm us enormously and create the Uber of autonomous transport “, criticizes the president of the Brazilian National Transport Association (ANTB), José Roberto Stringasci.
As for the diesel critics, Stringasci argues that the government should end the import parity price (PPI) based pricing policy and start calculating by the export parity price (EPP). “This is what we presented in a meeting with General Silva and Luna [presidente da Petrobras]”he says.
In practice, this is to prevent the cost of fuel from being passed on to Brazilians based on fluctuations in the price of a barrel of oil and the exchange rate. “Our category is not against the president [Jair Bolsonaro], we are against this system which has been put in place, this predatory pricing policy which destroys the truck driver “, declared the president of the ANTB.
How the strike wing is articulated to expand the workforce of truck drivers
Truck drivers talk to each other daily in WhatsApp groups. It is through the instant messaging application that the strike wing is articulated to expand its workforce. These union leaders and representatives explain the reasons that will lead them to stop next Sunday.
In addition to the groups in the messaging application, the facilitators will focus on “hand-to-hand” work, at stations and at stopping points. “People will start with awareness on many points. They will start to unfold, guide the category, and then, in the next few days, I think they will move towards a national strike”, explains José Roberto Stringasci.
The ANTB president recognizes that the category is divided, but believes in the possibility of greater membership. “Including, the application drivers are coming in. The information that has reached us in the last 24 hours [de quarta (21) para quinta-feira (22)] leads us to believe that there is a great tendency to stop, ”says Stringasci.
In addition to the “hand-to-hand” work on the roads and in WhatsApp groups, some unions hold meetings at the bases. In Baixada Santista, for example, a rally scheduled for 3:00 p.m. this Friday (23) will be decisive to seal the adhesion to the strike or not. Some 95% of truck drivers working in the port of Santos support the strike, according to the report.
“The strike is inevitable, because of the constant increase in diesel fuel and everything the government has promised and has not achieved so far,” said leader Marcelinho Paz. The wing in favor of the strike includes the participation of the self-employed workers of Santos. (SP), considered the “heart” of a truck stop.
In addition to Baixada Santista, self-employed workers in the state of Rio Grande do Norte are also reporting the strike. In Goiânia, the president of the Union of Autonomous Cargo Transporters of Goiás (Sinditac), Vantuir Rodrigues, was in favor.
What does the wing say against the truckers’ strike?
The part of the category that is against the strike is also using instant messaging apps and social media to try to demobilize the shutdown. As Gazeta do Povo showed in January, this wing works in collaboration with the federal government, which promises to spare no effort to impose heavy fines on those who obstruct the ways, without guarantees of amnesty.
The National Confederation of Autonomous Transporters (CNTA), an entity which maintains a permanent dialogue with the government, communicates that “the prerogative and the legality to make a stop is a right of the trucker and formalized by an assembly in the unions”. “So far, we are not aware of such an initiative of unions linked to the confederal system,” he informs.
The director of the Union of Autonomous Truck Drivers (Sindicam) of Ourinhos (SP), Júnior Almeida, Júnior de Ourinhos, criticizes the convocations and movements of supporters of the strike. “This is the 23rd call since 2018. For the first time truck drivers are heard [pelo governo] and there are those who want to sabotage the category, ”he says. “Of my more than 3,000 associates, none goes on strike. Of my 52 leaders who were picket leaders in 2018, none will strike, “he adds.
As a result of the dialogue between the leaders and the government, Júnior recalls that the category has conquered demands such as the modification of the weighing standards, which prevents fines and the seizure of illegal vehicles in situations that can be resolved administratively. Thus, only those who present a risk to traffic are seized in the stations of the Federal Road Police (PRF).
The representative of Sindicam de Ourinhos said that the latest actions presented by the government in the Gigantes do Asfalto program almost entirely consider the negotiated agendas. As for the criticisms of DT-e, Júnior explains that the amnesty was agreed with the rapporteur of the deputy 1,051, the deputy Jerônimo Goergen (PP-RS), to avoid more drastic measures to the minimum floor law. “If we do not put the amnesty, it would fall completely. It is a matter of common sense,” he said.
The strikers’ proposal for a Petrobras export parity price policy is also criticized by Júnior. “They want Petrobras to deliver a liter of diesel at cost price, that doesn’t exist. They want to appear, to throw the name of the movement in the mud,” he said. The president of the Autonomous Transport Cooperative of Catalão (GO) (Cotrac), Esmeraldo Barbosa, is also against the strike.
Road closures will respect the flow of hospital supplies
The idea of the striker part of the truckers is that the strike has a phased grip. The guideline is that, as a first step, do not block the freeways and allow the right to come and go for everyone. “The first few days are intended to educate those who are not aware of the shutdown,” explains José Roberto Stringasci, of the ANTB.
“And then, as the days go by, more and more people and entities join, I think it will be possible for the category to define a day to close everything [as rodovias] ditto, ”adds Stringasci. He says, however, that there is guidance for the self-employed to allow the circulation of medical and hospital supplies.
The aim of the defenders of the strike is to avoid criticism from the population, especially given the current moment of the pandemic. “The most that can happen, because of the transit of awareness points, is to delay the logistics for a few hours, but the trucks carrying medical and hospital equipment will not be prevented from circulating”, specifies the president of the ANTB.